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| p.3 #8 · Photography at Art Fair - Legal/Moral question |
Pay attention. It can't be any simpler than this. A property owner can control activities on his property. It's that simple. "Public property" is not yours. The city (county, state, federal government) can rent out the park, the street, the gazebo, the rec center, the playing field, the Lincoln Bedroom, for private activities. It happens all the time. The person renting the space can choose to allow or restrict entrance, fees, activities, etc., etc.
Here's a simple example. L.A. County owns the Hollywood Bowl. They allow tourists to enter it at various times, for free. Just park, get out of the car and walk right in. However, at some point on the day of an event, control is transferred, legally, by lease or whatever, to a producer, the L.A. Phil, etc. That organization sets it's own policies, rules, admissions fees, terms of admission, etc. Now you can't drive up and park without paying, can't waltz in without paying. And they can be very serious about photography, especially if you make noise, fire flashes, etc.
Ever seen a location shoot for a movie or TV program? These are shot on public property all the time. You can shoot from the outside in (and they may well try to block or obscure viewing angles, etc.,) but try to get into "their" area, you will easily find out the legal authority they have to control entry, photography, etc.
Most of these little local art shows probably don't even consider controlling photography but that's not the same as suggesting they don't have the right to do so. Sports leagues, etc., do it all the time to restrict outside commercial shooters who could cut into the revenue stream.